There may not be a nominee more deserving of entrance into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame than Julius Peppers.
Peppers finished his illustrious 17-year NFL career with 724 tackles, including 159.5 sacks, fourth most in NFL history. His 266 games played are a record for a defensive lineman and his 13 blocked kicks and 51 forced fumbles are the second most ever in NFL history. As a Tar Heel, he led the nation in sacks in 2000 with 15 and set the UNC single-season record with 24 tackles for losses. He averaged 1.9 tackles for losses per game, second-best in FBS history. A unanimous All-America in 2001, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation’s best defensive player and the Lombardi Award as the best collegiate lineman. He finished his career with 30.5 sacks and 53 tackles for losses in three collegiate seasons. He also played two seasons on the UNC men’s basketball team and was instrumental in the team advancing to the Final Four in 2000 and earning a No. 1 national ranking the following season.
Other 2020 class members include Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown, Debbie Antonelli, Muggsy Bogues, Dennis Craddock, Dr. Charles Kernodle, Mac Morris, Trot Nixon, Bobby Purcell, Judy Rose, Tim Stevens and Donnell Woolford.
“This year’s class encompasses all fields of athletics, including professional, collegiate, high school and special achievements,” said Nora Lynn Finch, president of the Hall. “This 58th class of inductees and their outstanding accomplishments continue to build on the rich sports heritage of North Carolina. We look forward to celebrating this special time in our state’s sports history.”
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. A permanent exhibit, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame is located on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and features significant objects and memorabilia donated by inductees. The inductees will be enshrined during the 57th annual banquet on May 1 at the Raleigh Convention Center.